NEW YORK (Sports Network) – Major League Baseball has revealed its 2013 schedule, which will begin with an undetermined stand-alone matchup on Sunday, March 31, and features new twists for interleague play with the Houston Astros switching to the American League.
Houston’s first game as an AL West member will be against new division rival Texas at Minute Maid Park on April 2. Thanks to the Astros’ move from the NL, each league will now have 15 teams, necessitating interleague play throughout the year.
The first season-opening interleague matchup will feature the Cincinnati Reds hosting the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on April 1.
Another new feature for interleague play takes place the week of May 27, when prime rivals will face each other for four straight days at two different venues. For instance, the New York Yankees will visit the Mets at Citi Field for games on May 27 and May 28. The teams will then square off at Yankee Stadium on May 29 and May 30.
Each team will play a total of 20 interleague games throughout the season in a total of eight series — four at home and four on the road.
The Los Angeles Dodgers will venture to Yankee Stadium for the first time since leaving Brooklyn, as former Yankee star Don Mattingly takes his Dodgers into the Bronx for two games on June 18-19. The Yankees then head to LA on the final two days of July.
Other interleague matchups of note include the return of Ozzie Guillen to the south of side of Chicago. Guillen’s Marlins will visit the White Sox for the first time on May 24.
Also, the Rays will play at Dodger Stadium for the first time from Aug. 9-11 and the Cubs will visit Oakland for the first time on July 2, while Albert Pujols will play against his former club, the Cardinals, in Anaheim from July 2-4.
The new schedule will have teams play 19 games against divisional opponents for a total of 76 games. Each team will play six or seven contests against non-divisional league foes for a total of 66 games.
Opening day matchups on April 1 will feature the Yankees and Red Sox in the Bronx; the Dodgers and Giants in Los Angeles; the Padres visiting the Mets; the Nationals hosting the Marlins; the White Sox welcoming the Royals; the Tigers traveling to Minnesota; the Diamondbacks hosting the Cardinals; the Rockies visiting Milwaukee; and the Cubs meeting the Pirates in Pittsburgh.
Citi Field in New York will be the site for the 84th All-Star Game on July 16, as the Mets host the Midsummer Classic for the first time since 1964.
The regular season will conclude on a Sunday for the first time in three years, as the final day will be Sept. 29. The 2011 season finished on a Wednesday and the 2012 campaign will also end on a Wednesday.
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